The Color of Silence

The Color of Silence


By Liane Shaw 


Two girls, both without a voice. One refuses to speak, and the other is trapped in a body that won’t let her.

At seventeen, Alex feels as if her life is over. She will never recover from the trauma of the car accident that took the life of her best friend, Cali. All joy left when Cali died, including their shared love of singing. Why even bother speaking? Alex blames herself for the accident, and no one would want to hear what she has to say anyway.

Ordered by a judge to do community service, she must spend time at a hospital with a girl named Joanie, who has minimal control of her body and no speech. Never having known another way of being, Joanie has an extraordinary internal life. She has been listening and watching as the world goes on around her, but Joanie is so full of words, thoughts and images that if she could ever figure out a way to let them loose, they would come swirling out in a torrent of syllables. She would fill every room with the colors of her dreams until the whole world became a rainbow of her making. 

Brought together by accident, Alex and Joanie have experienced the helplessness of silence. Their growing connection may lead them both to find the power of their voices.  

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About the Author

Liane Shaw is the author of several books for teens including, Fostergirls, and Don't Tell Don't Tell Don't Tell, as well as a work of non-fiction called Time Out: A teacher's year of reading, fighting, and four-letter words. Liane was an educator for more than 20 years, both in the classroom and as a special education resource teacher. Now retired from teaching, Liane lives with her family in the Ottawa Valley.

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Product Information

  • Release: March 11, 2013

  • $11.95 Paperback

  • 280 Pages

  • 5.5 x 8.25

  • Teen Fiction

  • Ages 12-18 / Grades 8-12

  • ISBN: 9781926920931


  • Character Education
    > Empathy
    > Self-Esteem
    > Strong Female Role Models

  • Reflecting Diversity
    > Abilities

Awards for The Color of Silence

  • 2014/2015 Stellar Book Award Finalist (B.C. Teen Readers' Choice Award)

  • 2014 Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award Finalist

  • Bank Street College Children's Book Committee's "Best Children's Books of the Year, 2014" - Ages 12-14

Praise for The Color of Silence

"The story starts slowly but builds to a strong emotional climax and gives readers a sense that Alex will recover from her trauma as her world slowly regains color." - School Library Journal

"Liane Shaw's poetic novel of grief and friendship examines the vast difference between how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us." - Quill & Quire

"(J)ust as she did in Fostergirls (Second Story Press, 2011)... Liane Shaw demonstrates that perspective is everything and nothing is the same for everyone." - CanLit for Little Canadians

"With no words between them, they build a friendship and connection that resonates and lets them express themselves louder than talking. The Color of Silence is a strong pick for youth novel collections, highly recommended." - Midwest Book Review

"Sensitively written with amazing insight into the mind of a person with multiple challenges, as well as a teen who is suffering from trauma and guilt, this book will keep the reader enthralled until the very end." - Good News Toronto

"The story is a moving one and deals with many issues such as overcoming trauma and grief. Readers will not only sympathize with the characters, but will come to understand their personal conflicts on an emotional level. The character of Joanie is an especially interesting one as Shaw provides great insight into what it may be like to have a disability that is physically restrictive." - Resource Links